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Aardman Animation, virtual reality and giant inflatable skull in interactive Norwich family show

PUBLISHED: 11:48 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:05 02 December 2016

Touring exhibition AniMotion is at The Forum over the festive period where visitors can interact with artworks. Picture: James Mulkeen

Touring exhibition AniMotion is at The Forum over the festive period where visitors can interact with artworks. Picture: James Mulkeen

James Mulkeen

AniMotion has come to The Forum in Norwich over the festive period promising a unique family experience where visitors interact with the artworks.

Interactive table with props from Morph and Wallace & Gromit creators Ardman Animation. Picture: James MulkeenInteractive table with props from Morph and Wallace & Gromit creators Ardman Animation. Picture: James Mulkeen

Aardman Animation props, virtual reality headsets and a giant Day of the Dead inflatable skull are among the interactive artworks at a fun-packed free exhibition in Norwich.

Touring exhibition AniMotion has come to The Forum over the festive period promising a unique family experience where visitors interact with the artworks.

Richard Fair, project manager, said: “AniMotion is all about visitor participation. By making your own mini stop-frame animation, trying out the zoetropes or becoming part of the exhibition itself by using our selfie stick, you’ll very quickly discover that the exhibition isn’t just for children.”

Amongst the exhibits is an opportunity to have a go at creating animations using special interactive tables provided by the Oscar-winning team at Aardman (creators of Wallace & Gromit, Creature Comforts and Shaun the Sheep), featuring Morph, the animated clay character who made his TV debut in 1977 in BBC children’s art programme Take Hart.

Virtual reality headsets that allow visitors to get involved in the artworks feature in the exhibition. Picture: James MulkeenVirtual reality headsets that allow visitors to get involved in the artworks feature in the exhibition. Picture: James Mulkeen

Created by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, the co-founders of Aardman Animations, Morph went on to become a regular fixture on children’s television throughout the 70s and 80s. After almost 40 years Morph returned in 2014 for a new series of adventures. Staying true to the original format, these episodes were shot using clay and traditional stop-frame animation in Morph’s original home at the Aardman studios in Bristol.

The character features in interactive zones for visitors to play and experiment with animation using the software and props provided.

Other artworks include Chris Squires’ Wing-Face Anima, a multi-screen projection featuring flocks of live generated, animated bird-winged creatures, each with the face of a visitor mapped onto it.

Mark Hewis’ giant, slow motion zoetrope uses time lapse photography to create an animated film in which visitors feature. The 3D zoetrope creates the illusion of movement in three-dimensional models that have been created of tiny gardeners lifting and carrying soil.

Spacecadets have designed a striking Day of the Dead inspired inflatable skull. Picture: James MulkeenSpacecadets have designed a striking Day of the Dead inspired inflatable skull. Picture: James Mulkeen

David Urwin’s The Nature of Imagination is a work that encourages people to see the beauty of others’ imaginations too. Using a virtual reality headset, visitors can observe and interact with, an imaginary world full of animation.

Meanwhile Michele Panegrossi and Aye Aye’s Invisible Cities is a playful installation of an origami paper arrangement brought to life by visitors hovering their hands and arms over the surface.

Eleanor Meredith, BAT Studio and The Workers have created an evolving stop motion animation, where visitors become both one of many and also the lead protagonist of a film that is created by all participants.

Spacecadets have designed and constructed a Day of the Dead inspired inflatable skull. The skull is projected with Phenakistoscopes, an early animation device that uses a spinning disk of sequential images and the persistence of vision principle to create the illusion of motion.

A boy uses the light table to creatre artworks, part of the interactive show that runs through the festive period. Picture: James MulkeenA boy uses the light table to creatre artworks, part of the interactive show that runs through the festive period. Picture: James Mulkeen

Visitors will also be able to take a picture on what must be one of the biggest selfie sticks ever seen.

• AniMotion is at The Gallery, The Forum, in Norwich, until January 21 (closed Christmas Eve afternoon, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day), 10am-4pm, admission free, www.2021visualartscentre.co.uk/touring-animotion

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